Favourite poems

147 posts in this topic

My favorite poem:


Hawk Roosting


I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.

Inaction, no falsifying dream

Between my hooked head and hooked feet:

Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.


The convenience of the high trees!

The air's buoyancy and the sun's ray

Are of advantage to me;

And the earth's face upward for my inspection.


My feet are locked upon the rough bark.

It took the whole of Creation

To produce my foot, my each feather:

Now I hold Creation in my foot


Or fly up, and revolve it all slowly -

I kill where I please because it is all mine.

There is no sophistry in my body:

My manners are tearing off heads -


The allotment of death.

For the one path of my flight is direct

Through the bones of the living.

No arguments assert my right:


The sun is behind me.

Nothing has changed since I began.

My eye has permitted no change.

I am going to keep things like this.


Ted Hughes


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Evidently Chicken Town

by John Cooper Clarke


The fucking cops are fucking keen to fucking keep it fucking clean

The fucking chief's a fucking swine who fucking draws a fucking line

At fucking fun and fucking games the fucking kids he fucking blames

Are nowhere to be fucking found anywhere in chicken town

The fucking scene is fucking sad the fucking news is fucking bad

The fucking weed is fucking turf the fucking speed is fucking surf

The fucking folks are fucking daft don't make me fucking laugh

It fucking hurts to look around everywhere in chicken town

The fucking train is fucking late you fucking wait you fucking wait

You're fucking lost and fucking found stuck in fucking chicken town

The fucking view is fucking vile for fucking miles and fucking miles

The fucking babies fucking cry the fucking flowers fucking die

The fucking food is fucking muck the fucking drains are fucking fucked

The colour scheme is fucking brown everywhere in chicken town

The fucking pubs are fucking dull the fucking clubs are fucking full

Of fucking girls and fucking guys with fucking murder in their eyes

A fucking bloke is fucking stabbed waiting for a fucking cab

You fucking stay at fucking home the fucking neighbors fucking moan

Keep the fucking racket down this is fucking chicken town

The fucking train is fucking late you fucking wait you fucking wait

You're fucking lost and fucking found stuck in fucking chicken town

The fucking pies are fucking old the fucking chips are fucking cold

The fucking beer is fucking flat the fucking flats have fucking rats

The fucking clocks are fucking wrong the fucking days are fucking long

It fucking gets you fucking down evidently chicken town


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me die in my sleep so I can be free

Regrets float away to a deep dark sea


Go to that place where pain never knew my name

His lies lay covered under black soil and memories are erased


Cover my ears it'll be alright

Close my eyes no more sight


Life is present and death is ever near

Kisses for my loved ones, goodbye to my dear


Come little kitty

Steal my breath in the night

Whispering voices escape illuminating light


Lay in a bed of flowers under blowing trees

Let me die in my sleep so I can be free


~ f_f


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A Man's A Man for a' That - Robert Burns

Is there for honest poverty

That hings his heed and a' that

The coward slave we pass him by

We dare be poor for a' that

For a' that and a' that

Our toils obscure and a' that

The rank is but the guinea's stamp

The man's the gowd for a' that


What tho' on hamely fare we dine

Wear hoddin-gray and a' that

Gie fools their silks and knaves their wine

A man's a man for a' that

For a' that and a' that

Their tinsel show and a' that

The honest man tho' e'er sae poor

Is king o' men for a' that


Ye see yon birkie ca'd a lord

Wha struts and stares and a' that

Tho' hundreds worship at his word

He's but a coof for a' that

For a' that and a' that

His riband, star and a' that

The man o' independent mind

He looks and laughs at a' that


A prince can mak a belted knight

A marquis, duke and a' that

But an honest man's aboon his might

Guid faith he mauna fa' that

For a' that and a' that

Their dignities and a' that

The pith o' sense and pride o' worth

Are higher rank than a' that


Then let us pray that come it may

As come it will and a' that

That sense and worth o'er a' the earth

Shall bear the gree and a' that

For a' that and a' that

It's coming yet for a' that

That man to man the warld o'er

Shall brothers be for a' that


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



I can hear you

making small holes

in the silence



If I were deaf

the pores of my skin

would open to you

and shut


And I

should know you

by the lick of you

if I were blind


the something

special smell of you

when the sun cakes

the ground


the steady

drum-roll sound

you make

when the wind drops


But if I

should not hear

smell or feel or see



you would still

define me

disperse me

wash over me



Hone Tuwhare 1922-2008

a great nz poet


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

In The Devil's Heat


Come here girl sit on my lap, the Devil calls her name

Walking towards her doom, slowly, down a hall of shame


Baseball playing on the radio, a warm beer by his side

He reaches out for her, she looks but there's no where she can hide


Her Angel whistling in the garden, a song from long ago

Desert wind carries it

To a place girl will never come to know


On his bony lap she sat looking out his bedroom window

Keeping a close eye on Angel he gets down low

No she can't see him, moving to and fro


By his touch she's frightened and cold, her body shakes,

It's chilled to the bone

She's sitting still on his knee numb and all alone


What a pretty girl you are with such soft skin, like no other

Thick, long dark hair, beautiful...just like your mother


Angel is lost in her lovely song

Time is stopped, forever has come and gone


He leads her to the gates of hell, working hard not to get caught

His fear is what she can smell

Her stomach twisted in a knot


Hot, humid breath whispers in her ear

Don't move, don't fight, I'm almost near


Frozen in his sour sweat rancid with hunger

She's falling, falling, falling hard

Yes, she's going under


A little girl, so tender and sweet

Lost, gone forever...in the devil's heat.




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



Stephen Crane



In the Desert



In the desert


I saw a creature, naked, bestial,


Who, squatting upon the ground,


Held his heart in his hands,


And ate of it.


I said, "Is it good, friend?"


"It is bitter – bitter", he answered,


"But I like it


Because it is bitter,


And because it is my heart."





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


I am as a wellspring / Of the sweetest waters of kindness / That a woman who finds it / May drink her fill / And yet find more... - Me, Hamra Judah, 1999


Thank you for this. I wish I had written that.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I memorized this poem in elementary school 30+ years ago and have never forgotten it.


Antonio, Antonio

Was tired of living alonio.

He thought he would woo

Miss Lissamy Lu,

Miss Lissamy Lucy Molonio.


Antonio, Antonio,

Rode off on his polo-ponio.

He found the fair maid

In a bowery shade,

A-sitting and knitting alonio.


Antonio, Antonio,

Said, "If you will be my ownio,

I'll love you true,

And I'll buy for you

An icery creamery conio!"


Oh, Nonio, Antonio!

You're far too bleak and bonio!

And all that I wish,

You singular fish,

Is that you will quickly begonio."


Antonio, Antonio,

He uttered a dismal moanio;

Then he ran off and hid

(Or I'm told that he did)

In the Antecatarctical Zonio.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a good poem for leaving.


One Art


The art of losing isn't hard to master;

so many things seem filled with the intent

to be lost that their loss is no disaster.


Lose something every day. Accept the fluster

of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.

The art of losing isn't hard to master.


Then practice losing farther, losing faster:

places, and names, and where it was you meant

to travel. None of these will bring disaster.


I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or

next-to-last, of three loved houses went.

The art of losing isn't hard to master.


I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,

some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.


--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture

I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident

the art of losing's not too hard to master

though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.


-Elizabeth Bishop


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm growing fungus on my feet

To tell the truth, it's kind of neat

I grew it for my science class

It's got so big, I'm bound to pass

But it's not easy growing mould

You must keep it dark and from the cold

Put your socks on when they're wet

Feed your fungus lots of sweat

It's been a month since I last showered

And because of this, it's truly flowered

It's amazing just how fast it grows

You've never seen such fuzzy toes!

It has the most delightful hue

It's sort of green and sort of blue

But there are drawbacks to its fungal riches

You won't believe how much it itches

And the smell is gross, I have to say

But it's worth it all to get an "A"




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The British Rail Freshly Made Ham Sandwich



When you're travelling in the evening

And you get that famished feeling

And you know that there's a buffet on this train

Heed my proclamation

Stay put until your station

Read your paper and ignore those hunger pains

Yes, I know you missed your dinner

And you don't want to get thinner

And your stomach is a-rumbling like thunder

And it isn't very far

To reach that buffet car

But to go would be a monumental blunder

For no one sane would dare

To walk into the lair

Of the British Rail Freshly Made Ham Sandwich


Here in the buffet section

There seems to be a fine selection

And the hollow in your stomach seems colossal

But take those rock cakes in glass cases

You better have them carbon-dated

Break one open and you may well find a fossil

And that packaged pastry

That looks to be quite tasty

"Grandma Heppelthwaite's Old Fashioned Cherry Slice"

Don't get it - you'll regret it

The name is quite authentic

They haven't made that brand since 1925

But in the corner where it's dimmer

Lurks a comestible much grimmer

It's the British Rail Freshly Made Ham Sandwich


The rows of candy snacks

Look pretty in their racks

But chocolate isn't normally that blue

And I really have a hunch

That crisps are meant to crunch

And not require that you chew... and chew... and chew

Maybe just a biscuit?

Well, I wouldn't want to risk it

Those cookies look as though someone's been nibbling

I guess that just for fun

You could have a currant bun

But is that icing - or has the chef been dribbling?

Although it may seem incredible

One thing's more indigestible

The British Rail Freshly Made Ham Sandwich


Perhaps you might well think

That there's no harm in a drink

And the tariff says the tea is freshly brewed

Well the menu was quite true

In 1952

When it was printed - now the tea has got quite stewed

Yes, they do have orange juice

But the definition is quite loose

The stuff they sell did not come from a fruit

But to be quite fair I ought to

Say the beer is not like water

Even water couldn't taste quite that dilute

But of all these buffet offerings

None can cause the suffering

Of the British Rail Freshly Made Ham Sandwich


Baked flour, water, yeast

And a slice of porcine meat

Neatly triangled by a sharp, bisecting knife

But I have heard it said

That the ham is not quite dead

And is squirming with vile, microscopic life

And the bread that once was white

Is now yellow to the sight

The crust brittle like bones long since interred

And as it lies upon the plate

And plans someone's grisly fate

An evil grin forms as the corners slowly curl

So don't give into temptation

There are things worse than starvation

You might well miss your destination

Trapped in the toilet past your station

So without hesitation

I say avoid a confrontation

With the British Rail Freshly Made Ham Sandwich




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, it's nice to see so many of the ones that I like (When I am Old I Shall Wear Purple, Ozymandias, Do Not Go Gentle into that Dark Night to name but three).


But two years ago.. I went on a two-week bus tour of Syria and Jordan and swore I'd not take too many books. Instead, I took 'a slim volume of poetry'. I reckoned it was stuff you couldn't read very quickly and had to take time to understand. And at the same time, you could just read for fifteen minutes or less and read an entire work.


Anyway, this came in as number one for me. I can read it and read it and really enjoy hearing his voice - the weariness in it, the resignation and then those final words. I think it reminds me a bit of Dylan Thomas's Do Not Go Gentle in that it talks about 'never giving in, never surrendering".




It little profits that an idle king,

By this still hearth, among these barren crags,

Matched with an agèd wife, I mete and dole

Unequal laws unto a savage race,

That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.


I cannot rest from travel: I will drink

Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed

Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those

That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when

Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades

Vexed the dim sea: I am become a name;

For always roaming with a hungry heart

Much have I seen and known; cities of men

And manners, climates, councils, governments,

Myself not least, but honoured of them all;

And drunk delight of battle with my peers,

Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.

I am a part of all that I have met;

Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough

Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades

For ever and for ever when I move.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,

To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!

As though to breathe were life. Life piled on life

Were all too little, and of one to me

Little remains: but every hour is saved

From that eternal silence, something more,

A bringer of new things; and vile it were

For some three suns to store and hoard myself,

And this grey spirit yearning in desire

To follow knowledge like a sinking star,

Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.


This my son, mine own Telemachus,

To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle—

Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil

This labour, by slow prudence to make mild

A rugged people, and through soft degrees

Subdue them to the useful and the good.

Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere

Of common duties, decent not to fail

In offices of tenderness, and pay

Meet adoration to my household gods,

When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.


There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:

There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,

Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought

with me—

That ever with a frolic welcome took

The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed

Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;

Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;

Death closes all: but something ere the end,

Some work of noble note, may yet be done,

Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.

The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:

The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep

Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,

'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

Push off, and sitting well in order smite

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

Of all the western stars, until I die.

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:

It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,

And see the great Achilles, whom we knew

Though much is taken, much abides; and though

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


Alfred,Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) 1833


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Billy Button


This is the story of Billy Button

The tragic tale of a greedy glutton

Who loved to spend each waking hour

Finding items to devour

Eating everything in sight

Until his parents in desperate plight

Cried out Billy, you must stop

Or one day you will just go POP!

I will eat less, young Billy said

And promptly ate two loaves of bread

A pound of butter, a jar of jam

And fifteen slices of best smoked ham

And though his stomach now reached his knees

He finished with two rounds of cheese

He sat back, licked his lips and burped

I wonder what's for tea, he slurped

Nothing tonight Billy's parents said

For soon you have to go to bed

Daddy's boss and his wife, the Skinners

Are turning up at 8 for dinner

We're going upstairs to get dressed

You sit here and behave your best

But as soon as Mum and Dad had gone

A hungry look came upon their son

A little snack that's all I need

He said as he licked his lips with greed

And waddled to the dining room

To find something else to consume

And there laid out before his eyes

A tasty spread of lavish size

Mmm, just a little taste won't hurt

And he shovelled goodies down his throat

Every starter that he saw

Soon disappeared down Billy's maw

All the veg and meat he ate

Licking sparkling clean each plate

He ate the sweets at a rapid rate

And then finished off the After Eights

And very soon it all was gone

Stuffed into Billy's bulging tum

Now perhaps a little doze

Thought Billy as his eyelids closed

And so his parents found him sitting there

Wedged into a straining chair

His snoring cake-hole smeared with food

It was then his parents became unglued

The shops were closed, the boss was due

Oh what, mum wailed, were they to do

Dad said, as he eyed his son

Don't worry, I know what must be done

Now we conclude this sorry fable

With everyone sitting at the table

Mum and Dad and the Skinners

Tucking into a most tasty dinner

Says Mr. Skinner, I make a toast

To this most tender, tasty roast

I've never seen one quite so plump

Could you slice me just a little more rump?


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Was that an original from you? Very impressive. Reminds me of .. what was it... Albert and the Lion?




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


Was that an original from you? Very impressive. Reminds me of .. what was it... Albert and the Lion?




Thanks. I think it was inspired by Hilaire Belloc's "Cautionary Tales" poems, which also have a similar feel to the Albert poems.

I have some more humorous verse lying about - I'll dig out another one :)


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Loch Ness Monster's Song by Edwin Morgan:



Hnwhuffl hhnnwfl hnfl hfl?

Gdroblboblhobngbl gbl gl g g g g glbgl.

Drublhaflablhaflubhafgabhaflhafl fl fl -

gm grawwwww grf grawf awfgm graw gm.

Hovoplodok - doplodovok - plovodokot - doplodokosh?

Splgraw fok fok splgrafhatchgabrlgabrl fok splfok!

Zgra kra gka fok!

Grof grawff gahf?

Gombl mbl bl -

blm plm,

blm plm,

blm plm,



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lionel The Lycanthrope




The Trials and Tribulations of the Modern Day Werewolf


Lionel was a werewolf

So when the moon was bright

He would go up to the rooftop

And howl into the night


He would prowl along the streets at night

Followed by his pack

Two pooodles, one chihuahua,

And a dachshund known as Jack


Sometimes he chased the local residents

You should have seen the way they ran

But Lionel never hurt them

He was vegetarian


He would roam about the neighbourhood

Desperate for a pee

(When you're an inner city lupine

It's hard to find a tree)


He passed the church where he was banned

Not for being bad or rotten

But from when the vicar came to tea

And Lionel tried to sniff his bottom


One dawn the police picked Lionel up

Wearing not a stitch

It didn't help when Lionel said

He'd been hunting down a bitch


The policemen took young Lionel home

They found his house without much stress

For on a chain around Lionel's neck

Hung a disk with his address


"We have to tell your mum", one policeman said

In a voice so dark and final

As the car pulled up by a garden gate

With a sign - "Beware of Lionel"


When Lionel's mother opened the door

She knew why the police were there

"Go into the living room, Lionel,

And don't sit on the chairs!"


"This can't go on", the policeman said

"He's frightened half the town

If you can't teach him to behave

He'll have to be put down"


Ma wondered how to help her son

But she soon solved the puzzle

Lionel still prowls the streets at night

But now he wears a muzzle


Rumour says she also found

A way to curb his wild desires

You'll still hear him when the moon is full

But now his howl's two octaves higher


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember when... by a 17 year-old, broken hearted Guest


I remember when

we used to sit and talk

about nothing else but life itself


you used to stay with me

it was where you wanted to be

then one day

you went away

leaving me alone

sitting by the phone

waitin for your call


that is why

I kiss the sky goodbye

As I wipe each tear from my eye

I kiss the sky goodbye.


You treated me so bad

leaving just the memories of the times we had

how can I make room in my heart

for another like you to tear apart?


I'll do it somehow, some way

for tomorrow will be a brighter day

I'll do it somehow, some way

for tomorrow will be a sunny day


How can I keep from crying?

How can I keep from dying?


I'll do it somehow.

I remember when ...


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha hahahahaha.


I really gave out a huge laugh at verse two. Just wonderful. A werewolf being followed by two poodles, a chihuahua and a dachshund known as Jack. LOL.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now